"The Paterson Strike"
by Patrick L. Quinlan (1883-1948)
First published in "Solidarity" [New Castle, PA], vol. 4, no. 12, whole no. 168 (March 15, 1913), pg. 1.
Quinlan, one of three key Industrial Workers of the World organizers in the 1913 Paterson, New Jersey Silk Strike, offers first-hand coverage of the work action's origins to an IWW readership in the organization's East coast official weekly newspaper.
Quinlan was arrested by authorities at a mass meeting of strikers on February 25 -- the first day that the strike went general among the city's fabric mills. Quinlan is quite definite as to the cause of the strike: "up to [Feb. 25] the fight was limited to one factory, the Doherty mill. The cause of the dispute being Doherty's attempt to introduce the three- and four-loom system instead of the two-loom, as was customary. The Doherty workers had been on strike for more than a month. Three weeks ago the workers themselves saw that if Doherty succeeded in installing the three- and four-loom system it would be generally introduced throughout the silk industry." Despite the arrest of IWW strike organizers Carlo Tresca, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and Quinlan, the strike continued to gain strength throughout the rest of the month, Quinlan indicates, until at the time of this writing an estimated 25,000 mill workers were out on strike. Quinlan notes a "splendid solidarity" and "complete burial of all race and religious differences" among the strikers. He is enthusiastic that "the middle class is brought to its knees. It is terrified and helpless. The storekeepers are no longer propagandists for the bosses. They are neutral."
Published in the USA prior to 1923, public domain.
Edited by Tim Davenport for 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, Oregon, January 2012.
Uploaded by him to Archive.org, January 30, 2012.